The “Sly Cooper” series is known for being highly animated and colorful, each title being a great example of how to create a fun platformer that’s highly accessible for gamers of all ages. “Thieves in Time” is a continuation of the sort of stealth zaniness that put the franchise on the map, only perhaps with a slightly increased focus on action this time around. Sanzaru Games has been tapped for this installment, as Sucker Punch Productions is busy working on a PS4 exclusive. Nonetheless, they’ve done an excellent job with “Thieves in Time”, and gamers should also be delighted because this title incorporates both motion controls as well as stereoscopic 3D.
As far as the story is concerned, Sly and his crew build a time machine in order to traverse the vast expanse of history in order to find out why pages from the Thievius Raccoonus are vanishing. This journey will take them across 5 distinct eras (including, Feudal Japan, the Wild West, the Ice Age, Medieval England and Ancient Arabia), each possessing its own unique charms and distinctive missions.
Simply put, “Thieves in Time” is a wonderful-looking game that is highly colorful, exotic and “sharp” enough to draw in even the most cynical gamers. Sure, it’s basic design is based off of what many might call a “by-gone” era in gaming (Mario-esque 3D platformers), but it’s still a ton of fun. As you might expect, everything looks very “animated” thanks to its decidedly cel-shaded design. If there’s anything to complain about, it’s definitely not related to the graphics or the character / level design (both of which are top-notch).
When it comes to the gameplay, most gamers will interpret this title as either a hit or a miss, it largely depends on what you’re looking for. On one hand, the combat is somewhat repetitive and perhaps a bit on the easy side, however, for gamers who are looking for nothing more than a fun experience which incorporates some light-hearted humor, this might not be an issue at all.
The bottom line is that this title isn’t bringing anything new to the table as far as basic controls or gameplay is concerned, but it does put forth many of the basic staples which have propelled previous 3D platformers to great heights. In other words, you’re dealing with a game that’s more interested in bringing you new environmental experiences with a decidedly old-school sense of character.
Perhaps one of the best things about this game is that it is both a “budget friendly” as well as one of the few games that are classified as “cross-buys”. In other words, if you buy a copy for the PS3, you can download a free version for the Vita! When you look at just how much fun this game is combined with the aforementioned economic factors, you’ve got a really good deal on your hands (particularly if you’re into platformers with a classic-feel). Fans of the series will love this one, as will the younger gamers among us; however, this is not to say that veteran FPS goons won’t also want to delve into this fun and quirky title, it’s just that they’re probably busy with the latest top-tier releases. Definitely worth picking up if you’re into animated 3D platformers or are a big fan of the series.